The Provisional List presents information on rare birds reported in the Republic of Ireland since 1st January of each year in systematic order. This information will be updated regularly and will ultimately serve as a template for the Irish Rare Bird Report of the current year.

We have endeavoured to enter accurate details for all reports, but as sources have been varied and often indirect, the details are probably best regarded as provisional. Certain details are often more difficult to establish than the basic 'species, location and date', which are initially reported. For example, it is often difficult to find out who the principal observer (the person(s) who originally found / identified the bird) was, and whether or not subsequent observers were involved.

The Provisional List is available for download as a PDF (Portable Document Format) by following the link in the right hand column.

We strongly encourage you to carefully go through the list and, if possible, provide the following information:

  • Additional rarity records for the current year, which have not yet come to our attention.
  • Correction of any errors or omissions the list may contain.
  • Clarification of details which remain unknown or uncertain (highlighted in red type).
  • Notification of whether birds have been photographed or videoed, in addition to the name of the photographer(s).

All records received of species and subspecies included in Appendix 1 & Appendix 2 are added to the Provisional List as well as reports of those species or subspecies not previously on the Irish List.

Please notify us by email using the Provisional List contact address, which is Thank you.

IRBC - Provisional List Explanatory Notes

The following notes are intended to give a detailed explanation of the content included in the list.

  1. Appendix: the rarity status designated to the species/subspecies in the IRBC announcement of 9th January 2005.
    • A1: Appendix 1 comprises species and subspecies for which claims must still be supported by documentation of some kind (either a written description and/or photographic evidence/sound recording, where appropriate) and this must be accepted by the IRBC before the records will qualify for publication in the Irish Rare Bird Report.
    • A2: Appendix 2 comprises those species removed from the list of rarities requiring formal documentation but for which accreditation in the Irish Rare Bird Report will continue in the future.
  2. Species/subspecies: The species or subspecies involved, followed by its scientific name.
  3. Number: The number of individuals involved. Some records involving two or more individuals have been broken down into two or more rows in the table. This is necessary when the dates of arrival and departure of particular individuals are "staggered" (for example, the two Great White Egrets at Doogan Lough, Mayo and the three Avocets at Tacumshin, Wexford).
  4. Age/Sex: The age and sex of the bird(s), when known. Obviously, these are more easily determined in some species than in others. For example, most Surf Scoters can be aged and sexed, but most Bitterns in winter cannot, while gulls are generally more easily aged than sexed.
  5. Remarks: Information or remarks relating to the sighting not presented in the remaining columns, e.g. indication of whether the bird or birds are presumed to be returning individuals or whether there is doubt about the identification.
  6. First date: The date on which the bird(s) were first reported.
  7. Final date: The latest known date on which the bird(s) were reported. In the case of longer-staying individuals, this will of course be updated as information from subsequent months becomes available.
  8. Locality: Where the bird(s) were observed.
  9. County.
  10. Principal observer(s): The name(s) of person(s) primarily responsible for the finding and/or identification. We list first two names in the IRBR as finders with 'et al' included if more are involved. These are taken from the alphabetical list of principal observer names on the PL. However, we will accommodate changes to order of observer names and also add extra if more than two names are to be included. This can be done on request by the observers involved. If, however, the observers involved request that the name of one observer be prioritised (reflecting the greater part they played in the finding and identification), this request will be accommodated.
  11. Other observers: The use of 'et al' or 'unknown' as appropriate indicates that additional observers saw the bird(s), either later on the same day or on a subsequent date. This is an important factor, especially in the case of birds which have not been photographed, as it lends a degree of confirmation to the identification.
  12. Photographic documentation: The name(s) of the person(s) known to have photographed or videoed the bird(s). In some cases this may refer to the Principal Observer(s), but in many cases it will not.
  13. Photo Location: The first place that most photographs of rare birds appear is on one the popular websites and where such photographs exist, the web address is indicated. Unfortunately, the content of such websites is dynamic, and indeed by their very nature websites themselves are transient. Therefore, where photographs subsequently appear in one of the popular birding journals (British Birds, Dutch Birding, Birdwatch etc.) this will be indicated and it is envisaged that only such permanent, 'hard-copy' locations will be referenced in the Irish Rare Bird Report.